Creamy Cucumber Salad Recipe

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This Creamy Cucumber Salad, with crisp cucumbers and red onion, is totally nostalgic! It’s refreshing and crunchy, topped with the best creamy dressing.

Try our other favorite summer side dishes, like this Macaroni Salad or this Cucumber Feta Salad.

Creamy cucumber salad recipe in a bowl ready to be served.

My Mom’s Famous Creamy Cucumber Salad Recipe

Remember my mom’s “famous” Pasta Salad? This Creamy Cucumber Salad was another one of her go-to recipes, loaded with garden-fresh cucumbers and more!

Even though I don’t have a garden like hers, we can’t let a week go by in the summer without making this salad.

The sour cream dressing is the real star in this recipe. Instead of just mixing mayo with sour cream, I pack it with flavor using fresh herbs, lemon, and the “secret” ingredient — vinegar! Yes, really, it adds just the right amount of tang.

Ingredients

Let’s talk dressing ingredients — it’s all about getting that flavor just right!

  • Sour Cream: Pick quality sour cream—light for fewer calories or regular for extra creaminess.
  • Mayo: Choose full-fat for the richest possible salad. I love Best Foods or Hellman’s® here.
  • White Wine Vinegar: This gives it a tangy flavor. If you’re out, just use red wine vinegar or extra lemon juice.
  • Lemons: Fresh tastes best. Just grate the yellow skin; the white part underneath the yellow skin is bitter.
  • Fresh Dill: Fresh herbs bring life to this salad! If you don’t love dill, try parsley.
  • White Sugar: A little bit cuts the acidity, but honey works well too.
  • Garlic Powder: This adds depth of flavor. For a stronger flavor, use fresh minced garlic.

QUICK TIP

For the Creamy Cucumber Salad dressing, I like grating the lemons with a small grater and then squeezing out the juice with a citrus squeezer

All the ingredients in this recipe prepped out for easy assembly.

How To Make Creamy Cucumber Salad

  1. Mix Dressing: Whisk together the dressing ingredients. Adjust the salt and pepper to taste—just a bit can make a big change! If you can, chill the dressing for better flavor.
  2. Use Fresh Ingredients: Make sure the cucumbers and dill are fresh for the best flavor.
  3. Prepare Veggies: Discard the ends of the cucumbers (they are bitter). A slicing tool is perfect for getting things thin and even. (I use mine all the time when making Au Gratin Potatoes!)
  4. Soak Red Onion: Cut it thinly so it doesn’t overpower the salad. To make it milder, soak it in cold water for 10 minutes, or use thinly sliced shallots instead.
  5. Chill Before Serving: For best flavor, refrigerate the salad for at least 15-20 minutes. It’s best cold.

Making the dressing by combining the ingredients in a bowl for this fresh creamy cucumber salad.

What Cucumbers Are Best For Salad?

For the perfect Creamy Cucumber Salad, use mini, English, or Persian cucumbers because:

  • Fewer Seeds: These cucumbers have less and smaller seeds, making your salad less watery and more flavorful.
  • Thinner Skin: Their skin is thin and flavorful, adding a nice crunch without the need for peeling.
  • Even Texture: You’ll get a consistent crunch with every bite.
  • Mild Flavor: They’re not too strong or bitter, so they add flavor to the salad without becoming too over powering.

QUICK TIP

Find cucumbers that are bright green, firm, and smooth, and smell good. Pick straight ones that are about the same size for even slices.

How To Keep Cucumbers From Getting Soggy

Keep cucumbers crisp with these quick tips:

  • Keep Cold: Store cucumbers in the fridge to keep ’em crisp.
  • Prepare Last: Cut cucumbers as close to serving time as possible.
  • Dress Later: Add dressing right before serving to avoid sogginess.
  • Pat Dry: After cutting, press slices between paper towels to suck up any extra moisture.
  • Don’t Pack Too Tight: When storing cucumber slices, give them some space in the container for air to flow and keep them dry.

To Peel Or Not To Peel Cucumbers

No, you don’t have to peel the cucumbers; their skin gives the salad extra crunch and flavor. Just remember, if they’re not pre-washed, wash and dry them well before using.

However, if you’re not a fan of the skin’s taste, peeling them is perfectly fine.

Add cucumbers and onion to a large bowl; pour on dressing and gently mix.

VARIATIONS

Creamy Cucumber Salad Flavor Variations

  • Greek Cucumber Salad: Like Tzatziki Sauce; just add in some feta and Kalamata olives. Swap dill for Oregano and add some tomatoes.
  • Add Spice: Add a finely chopped jalapeño or some red pepper flakes like in this Cucumber Pepper Salad
  • Swap Herbs: Mix in any fresh herbs you have—like parsley, cilantro, chives, or basil. You can use whatever you’ve got!
  • Try It Asian-Style: This Asian Cucumber Salad is one of my all time favorites!
  • Add Avocado: This Cucumber Salad is a readers favorite — I threw in an avocado and added my fave balsamic dressing.

What To Serve With Creamy Cucumber Salad

  • Grilled Meats: Perfect with my grilled chicken marinade or my steak marinade.
  • Seafood: Goes great with grilled shrimp or scallops.
  • Sandwiches: Makes sandwiches crispy and creamy. (These Cucumber Sandwiches are my go when hosting!)
  • Rice Dishes: Gives a tasty crunch to rice and chicken bowls, especially with avocado on the side!
  • Pasta Dishes: Great with pasta salad or alongside a big slice of lasagna.

Creamy cucumber salad with sour cream in a bowl ready to be enjoyed.

STORAGE

Storing Creamy Cucumber Salad

  • Best When Fresh: It’s tastiest on the day it’s made. It can last in the fridge for a day or two but will start to lose its crunch.
  • Leftovers: Put any extra food in a tightly sealed container in the fridge.
  • Avoid Freezing: Freezing makes cucumbers soft and mushy.

How To Make Creamy Cucumber Salad Ahead Of Time

  • Make the dressing and slice cucumbers and onions ahead of time.
  • Store everything separately in the fridge to keep fresh.
  • Combine everything with dressing 15-20 minutes before serving.

Use Leftover Cucumbers In…

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Creamy Cucumber Salad With Sour Cream

5 from 3 votes
This Creamy Cucumber Salad, with crisp cucumbers and red onion, is totally nostalgic! It's refreshing and crunchy, topped with the best creamy dressing.
Creamy cucumber salad recipe in a bowl ready to be served.
Print Recipe

Creamy Cucumber Salad With Sour Cream

Creamy cucumber salad recipe in a bowl ready to be served.
5 from 3 votes
This Creamy Cucumber Salad, with crisp cucumbers and red onion, is totally nostalgic! It's refreshing and crunchy, topped with the best creamy dressing.
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Healthy, Vegetarian
Keyword creamy cucumber salad
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 6 servings, as a side
Chelsea Lords
Calories 120kcal

Ingredients

Dressing

  • ½ cup light (or regular) sour cream
  • 4 tablespoons full-fat mayo (We like Best Foods/Hellmans)
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, plus 1/4 tsp lemon zest
  • 3-4 tablespoons fresh dill finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon white granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt & pepper

Salad

  • 4 cups English/Persian cucumbers (~2 English cucumbers) (Note 1)
  • ½ red onion, very thinly sliced (~3/4 cup) (Note 2)

Instructions

  • DRESSING: In a medium-sized bowl, combine all of the dressing ingredients. Season to taste, I add 1/2 tsp each of salt & pepper. Whisk well until completely smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use so the flavors can meld.
  • SALAD: Wash and thoroughly dry cucumbers. Cut off thin bitter ends and slice very thinly. (A mandolin slicer is great here!) Add to a large bowl with thinly sliced red onion.
  • ENJOY: Remove the dressing from the fridge and use a silicone spatula to scrape every bit over the cucumbers and onion. Gently mix with the spatula until veggies are well coated. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Refrigerate for 15-20 minutes for flavors to intensify; then toss again, season some more if needed, and enjoy.

Video

Recipe Notes

Note 1: Cucumbers: Our top choice for this salad is to use mini cucumbers or English/Persian cucumbers. These cucumbers are ideal due to their fewer seeds, thinner skin, consistent texture, and better flavor.
Note 2: Red onion: If you're sensitive to the sharpness of red onion, thinly slice it and soak the slices in a bowl of cold water. Thoroughly drain before using.

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 120kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 67mg | Potassium: 148mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 214IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 0.3mg

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.

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5 from 3 votes (1 rating without comment)

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4 Comments

      1. 5 stars
        Love this salad. Perfect for a hot summer night along burgers, steak or hot dogs. And this reminds me of our mom who made a very similar cucumber salad.

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